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Stable isotope analysis of Neolithic and Chalcolithic populations from Aktopraklik, northern Anatolia

Budd, Chelsea; Lillie, Malcolm; Alpaslan-Roodenberg, Songül; Karul, Necmi; Pinhasi, Ron


Chelsea Budd

Malcolm Lillie

Songül Alpaslan-Roodenberg

Necmi Karul

Ron Pinhasi


This paper presents the results of stable isotope (carbon and nitrogen) analysis of human and faunal remains from the site of Aktopraklık, one of the earliest farming sites in the Eastern Marmara region of Northwest Anatolia. Excavations at this site have shown that occupation occurs from the middle of the 7th millennium BC through to the middle of the 6th millennium BC. The earliest Neolithic activity at this location occurs at the settlement site of Aktopraklık C. Since 2004 a number of Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic burials have been recovered from the settlement areas and an Early Chalcolithic cemetery (Aktopraklık B and A respectively). To date a total of 60 individuals have been recovered from Aktopraklık, 23 of which (20 adults [10 males, 8 females and 2 indet adults] and 3 children below ca. 12 years of age) form the basis of the current isotope study. In addition, 14 faunal samples from cattle, pig, sheep/goat and fallow deer are included in the analysis in order to facilitate a consideration of trophic level shifts and to interpret the 13C data. The data represents the first isotopic study of a farming community from this region of Anatolia. This region is important to our understanding of the north-westwards transmission of farming into Europe from the Near East, and as such Aktopraklık represents a key site for studying the diet of farmers at the transition to agriculture. The close clustering of isotope values overall indicates homogeneity in subsistence practices for this farming population. Interestingly, the isotope values indicate a general focus on C3 terrestrial resources at Aktopraklık, despite the close proximity of both freshwater and marine environments where alternative resources could have been procured.


Budd, C., Lillie, M., Alpaslan-Roodenberg, S., Karul, N., & Pinhasi, R. (2013). Stable isotope analysis of Neolithic and Chalcolithic populations from Aktopraklik, northern Anatolia. Journal of archaeological science, 40(2), 860-867.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2013-02
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Journal Of Archaeological Science
Print ISSN 0305-4403
Electronic ISSN 1095-9238
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 2
Pages 860-867
Keywords Archaeology; History
Public URL